It should go without saying that we at SLR Lounge love photography resources. So, when approached by the Boudoir Divas to review their latest book entitled “The Posebook” we jumped at the chance to get our grubby little photographer hands on it! So, read on to see our full review on the SLR Lounge Approved “Posebook.”
“When your client feels at ease in front of your lens, it will show through the final image,” states the Boudoir Divas in their latest book, “The Posebook.” This simple statement is true for any type of photography involving people, from weddings to children to boudoir photography. In boudoir photography, the subject is particularly vulnerable, making the feelings of comfort and confidence even more important. A woman opens herself up and reveals aspects of her body and personality reserved only for the most intimate moments in her life.
In professional photography, preparation is key; and “The Posebook” was created to offer help with a major aspect of a boudoir shoot, the posing. From professionals to amateurs, every photographer needs ideas, inspiration, guidance, and a set of tools and resources to continually craft, develop and evolve his or her style. “The Posebook” is written in a lighthearted, fun, and casual way that reflects the personalities of the authors. Best of all, the Boudoir Divas have collected their top 28 poses and included tips on coaching (client interaction) and detailed advice for each pose.
Cost:$95 + shipping (through 1/3/2011 for the holidays), $142.00 (+shipping) normally
Number of Pages: 105 pages
Includes: Demo Video
Author Info and background: The Boudoir Divas are Marissa Boucher and Kimberlee West, a duo that have emeged as leaders in the niche industry of boudoir photography. Besides photography, the two San Diegans lead seminars, write books, and travel around the world giving workshops and teaching classes. The divas are fun, quirky, fashion-forward photographers who have devoted their careers to making women feel sexy and beautiful.
The style of the book is visual, focusing on image examples over textual explanations. The book starts with a “Quick Reference Guide,” which serves as a table of contents as well as quick study guide, with images and names of each pose. Each pose has its own name and section, sort of like chapters, with visual examples of the poses and variations of the poses. Between the images are coaching tips for getting particular looks or expressions and posing tips for accentuating positive features. For example, there is a page dedicated to “engaging the hands,” with ideas and tips on where your subjects should be placing their hands and arms to help create an impact in the image.
“The Posebook” unpretentiously teaches exactly what it’s name implies. You’re not going to find marketing tips or equipment recommendations, nor are you going to find details on the settings of each shot (apertures, ISOs, etc) or information on the lighting setups (equipment used, etc). While this information may have been useful, that lack of it allows the reader to focus the details of each pose. For example, instead of memorizing the shutter speed or ISO of a shot (things that will be different for each scene anyway), it’s more important to remember that for a certain pose, the client needs to be on her toes and flex her calves or she needs to make sure her arms are covering her stomach for a more flattering look. Leaving superfluous information out of the book allows the reader to take in the important aspects of each pose.
The book and DVD, however, do go into some useful topics outside of just posing that include: choosing the number of sets, utilizing the floor, engaging the hands (as mentioned above), getting real laughter out of clients, getting the “smoldering look,” proper and improper interaction, utilizing chairs and other props, and dozens more tips.
“The Posebook” has wider application then the title might imply. The concepts introduced in this book reach beyond boudoir photography, as the poses focus on making a woman look and feel beautiful, concepts that apply to any type of female portrait photography, whether it’s high school portraits or a bride on her wedding day. Building up client confidence, shooting from flattering angles and accentuating the positive features of the female body are, for example, important aspects of a bride’s preparation. So whether or not you offer boudoir photography, this book should introduce some important topics to keep in mind and moreover, it should give you some inspiration for your next shoot.
The included DVD is officially a ‘bonus,’ but it could easily be sold as it’s own product. It provides a valuable resource because of the actual demonstrations of the poses. It’s one thing to see final, post processed images; but it’s a whole other learning experience to visualize the art being created. The movies show the angles being taken, the lighting used, the upbeat interaction between the photographers and their client, the initial setup of each pose with the subsequent tweaks and variations to create the ideal image. All of this invaluable information is nearly impossible to teach without video.
How much would you pay to observe experienced professionals like the Boudoir Divas in action? There are photographers charging in the thousands of dollars for this experience. The DVD is set up as if you’re on a live shoot with the Divas but with the benefit of being able to pause, rewind and rewatch to maximize your learning experience. The value of this alone far exceeds the price tag of the package.
“The Posebook” is a wonderful resource to not only enhance your boudoir posing repetoir, but also to aid you in simply making your clients feel comfortable in front of your lens. It’s lessons apply to boudoir, wedding, portrait or virtually any type of photography involving people, and in particular, involving women. In addition, we thoroughly enjoyed the Divas light hearted and casual approach to the writing and creation of this resource turning the complex craft of posing into a pleasurable read. The DVD adds an additional, valuable teaching element to the package that allows you to visualize the entire process, from the actual posing and client interaction to the lighting setups and angles being used for each shot. With the standard price tag of $142, we definitely recommend anyone looking to purchase “The Posebook” to take advantage of the $95 holiday pricing saving you 33% or $47 off the standard price.
Enjoy, and feel free to post your comments, reviews and feedbackon “The Posebook” below.